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Tampa Personal Injury Attorney: What happens during mediation?

Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys are constantly asked about what their clients can expect during mediation.  Regardless of the case, whether it is a car accident, slip and fall or family law case, the overwhelming majority of Tampa Bay Area judges will require mediation before the matter can go to trial.  There are three major points to remember about mediation.

First, it involves a third party mediator, who is charged with driving and directing the discussion of issues.  An experienced mediator will essentially highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case and explain how these could impact their cases.  This is an attempt to get the parties into the spirit of compromise and interested in resolving their case.   A good mediator can resolve a case that otherwise would likely not get resolved.   Many times, the mediator may meet with the parties together in a room to permit their attorneys to give an opening statement to the other party, then go to separate rooms, while other mediators require the parties to start and stay in separate rooms.

Secondly, the overwhelming majority of the matters discussed at mediation are confidential.  This is critical as it prevents parties from essentially using offers at mediation against the other party later in the proceedings.  It also permits the parties to speak freely with the mediator without fear of the mediator testifying against them at trial.   Mediators are only able to disclose discussions at mediation in very limited circumstances.

Lastly, parties have the opportunity to caucus during mediation, which basically permits a party to meet alone with their attorney.  This provides parties an opportunity to speak candidly with their attorney about previous settlement offers and/or continued mediation strategy.  Often, this significantly relaxes a party since they are familiar with their attorney, rather than the mediator, they have never met.

It is worth noting many cases resolve either during mediation or immediately after it, once the parties have already made some concessions and are nearing a resolution.  Our firm has handled a wide variety of mediations ranging from family law cases to auto accidents cases, we have had great success in getting our clients what they demand and deserve.  If you have an upcoming mediation or have questions concerning your mediation, contact the Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. Thanks for checking out our Tampa Personal Injury Attorney’s blog, we appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you.